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Vintage Racing Motorcycles Stolen

by Richard Backus


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1914 Cyclone Overhead Cam Racer 
This 1914 overhead cam Cyclone was stolen during a robbery in Bel Air, Calif. 

Los Angeles ABC affiliate KABC-TV reports that a vintage motorcycle collector was robbed of his 1914 overhead cam Cyclone and a Honda CR110 racer when a pair of intruders broke into the man’s house, tied him up and made off with the two race bikes, which are valued at approximately $1 million and $60,000, respectively.

From the KABC website: “Police are searching for a pair of thieves who broke into a Bel Air home in the middle of the night, tied up the home owner and made off with two valuable motorcycles. That home invasion robbery took place about 4:30 a.m. in the 900 block of Linda Flora Drive.
“Police said the suspects kicked in the front door and tied up the man, a longtime collector of vintage cars and motorcycles. The man's wife was able to get away and went to a neighbor's house to call police.
“Police said the suspects knew exactly what they were after. They went straight for the two vintage motorcycles valued at more than $1.5 million.
“One of the motorcycles was a rare 1914 yellow Cyclone. The other was a 1952 gray and red Kawasaki. [Reliable sources tell us it was in fact a Honda CR110 – Ed]. The wife said the thieves loaded the motorcycles onto a white van, possibly a rental.
“‘It's a quiet, residential neighborhood, but we don't think it was a random break-in," said neighbor Charles Lesser,’ It looks as if whoever did it knew exactly what they were looking for and took it and left.
“Anyone with information is asked to call the Los Angeles Police Department at (877) 527-3247.”

The Honda might be easy to unload, but I can’t imagine how the thieves believe they can sell an OHC Cyclone, one of the rarest – it’s one of six – and most valuable motorcycles in the world, unless they already have an unscrupulous buyer lined up who just wants to lock it away. It’s akin to trying to hawk the Mona Lisa, and once you have the bike in your possession, what do you do with it besides keep it hidden? You sure can’t show it. While some suggest it might go to an overseas collector, the same issues apply, although perhaps not with the same legal implications should it stay in the U.S. Whatever the case, it’s a chilling event. -- Richard Backus